Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) Bachelor of Science Degree

Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) Bachelor of Science Degree program is designed for persons interested in energy production and management, sustainability management, foreign and domestic energy and sustainability policy analysis, and many other careers related to energy and sustainability. You can find most of the related course material available for your use as part of these Open Educational Resources.

students in a greenhouse listening to a farmer talk

Credit: Haley Sankey (c) Penn State University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Course Description

Education reformer John Dewey said it best: "We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience." This workbook is centered on the idea that experiential learning and time dedicated to guided analysis and reflection are what help students benefit most thoroughly from the experiences they've had. Grounded in the cyclical process of Inquiry-Based Learning, the workbook provides students with a structured approach to processing and communicating the meaning of their experiences and thereby producing a valuable assessment of learning.

Course Description

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, "Some people are weatherwise, but most are otherwise." Ol' Ben understood that weather can have a great effect on our everyday lives, and he knew the importance of having an understanding of what makes the atmosphere work (and not just knowing when it's safe to fly a kite). In METEO 3, we will examine all aspects of the weather. You'll learn the fundamental processes that drive the atmosphere, along with some of the tools we use to measure those processes.

From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming

Credit: Blue Icebergs Under Cloudy Sky by Pixabay is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Human-caused climate change represents one of the great environmental challenges of our time. As it is inextricably linked with issues of energy policy, a familiarity with the fundamentals of climate change is critical for those looking to careers in the energy field. To appreciate the societal, environmental, and economic implications of policies governing greenhouse gas emissions, one must understand the basic underlying science. METEO 469 serves to lay down the fundamental scientific principles behind climate change and global warming.

Course Description

EMSC 302 provides an orientation of the Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) degree program, preparing students for further study in the five program learning outcome areas: energy industry knowledge, global perspective, analytical skills, communication skills, and sustainability ethics. It also provides an introduction to the basic skills necessary to be successful in higher-ed online learning, including communication and library skills.

Course Description

Introduction to Energy and Earth Sciences is an introduction to microeconomic fundamentals with a focus on the applications of economics to energy and environmental markets. We will introduce the economic method of analysis to the environmental and resource questions facing society. We will learn about the market forces, supply and demand and how they are formed from two concepts of law of Diminishing Returns and Diminishing Marginal Utility. We extend our knowledge by exploring factors such as market dynamics and market equilibrium, government intervention and market power.

Energy in a Changing World

Credit: Green city concept, cut the leaves of plants, isolated over white by kirillov alexey, licensed through Shutterstock used with permission

Course Description

What is energy? It's the hot in heat, the glow in light, the push in wind, the pound in water, the sound of thunder and the crack of lightning. It is the pull that keeps us (and everything else!) from simply flying apart, and the promise of an oak deep in an acorn. It is all the same, and it is all different. Sunshine and waterfalls won't start your car, and wind won't run the dishwasher. But, if we match the form and timing of the energy with your needs, all of these things could be true.

Global Energy Enterprise

Credit: Lobbying 161689 by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Have you seen a Clean Coal baseball cap? In the challenge to meet soaring energy demand with limited resources, volatile issues like those related to the environment, national security and public health are often addressed outside of normal market transactions and are called externalities, or nonmarket factors. Stakeholders can act in resourceful ways to create a nonmarket environment that best serves their interest. A firm may challenge a law that makes it expensive or difficult to do business or compete with others, for example.

Oil: International Evolution

Credit: Oil Pump Machine Under Orange Sunset from Pexels is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Have you purchased gasoline and wondered at the price changes? Or worn your polyester jacket and wondered how it kept you warm, or been thankful your phone didn't break when you dropped it? These are just some benefits the petroleum industry brings to our world. Other aspects to the global world market involve natural disasters, wars, rumors of wars, national security, and consumer demand. Learn about oil production and how nations respond as EGEE 120 gives you a foundation of how industry interacts with you, governments, transportation, politics, and the world.

Energy Conservation

Credit: Lightbulbs by Dreamstine is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Much of the general population believes that the energy sources we depend on are perpetual. While people believe that energy use is the culprit for environmental damage, they are not aware of the methods and principles by which energy conversion devices operate. This course will provide you with knowledge and information on the main operating principles of devices/appliances in common use and will help you in making energy efficient and economical choices.

Energy Policy

Credit: Purple Flowers by winterseitler is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Energy policy sits at the crossroads of science and policy. And now, energy and climate policy are inextricably linked; the policies we choose have very real consequences for our climate. This intersection of science and policy is chaotic and bustles with activity motivated by various competing (and conflicting) interests and factors. We must understand the motivations driving them and bridge the divides between our reliance on fossil fuels and our need to transition to less carbon-intensive and renewable alternatives.


Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Maria Wherley

Maria Scalzi Wherley (she, her) is a Learning Designer and Writer-in-Residence with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. Learn more about Maria to see what she has to say about online education.